Jeffrey Turco will move forward to the general election for state representative of the 19th Suffolk District to succeed former House Speaker Robert Deleo, after pulling in 36.2% of the vote in Tuesday’s special primary election.
“I’m thrilled with the level of support I received across the district, the people that came out and held signs and really went door to door and made thousands of phone calls,” Turco said in an interview with Revere TV Tuesday night. “I’m looking forward to getting through to March 30th and convincing the voters that I should win the election.”
Turco’s campaign has focused on housing, vocational education opportunities, and substance use disorder and mental illness, two issues that have “destroyed half of my family,” Turco told Revere TV. “It’s an issue that I don’t talk about for political reasons — I talk about it because it’s had a real effect on me.”
Though Turco describes himself as a “working-class Democrat,” he voted for President Donald Trump in 2016 and made campaign contributions last year to the conservative Republican PAC WinRed and to Susan Collins, a Republican U.S. senator from Maine. Turco has also been criticized by local Planned Parenthood and NARAL chapters for his pro-life stance.
From the other side of the Democratic spectrum, candidate Juan Jaramillo, who was endorsed by Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Sen. Bernie Sanders, came in second place with 30% of the vote, bringing in 542 more votes than Turco in Revere.
“We won Revere, we won big and obviously the voters of Revere came out big for me,” Jaramillo told Revere TV Tuesday. “We talked about the issues, the important issues, health care for every single person here, a good paying union job … you know, the way our electoral system obviously is set up, it's the plurality of votes and not the majority of votes, but those issues won here. I look forward to working with Jeff and in making sure that we're centering those issues.”
Alicia DelVento, the only woman in the race, received 26% of the vote. Candidate Valentino Capobianco, who recently lost two major endorsements from Attorney General Maura Healey and former Rep. Joe Kennedy III after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced last week, garnered 7.7%.
Turco has received endorsements from the Revere Police Superior Officers Union, the Police Patrolman’s Unions in both Winthrop and Revere, the Massachusetts State Police Commissioned Officers Association, the Massachusetts Coalition of Police, the New England Police Benevolent Association, the Massachusetts Correction Officers Federated Union, and multiple firefighters unions in both Winthrop and Revere. He previously served as Winthrop’s Town Council president and a school committee member.
“I have the utmost respect for the firemen, the policemen, policewomen and firewomen and the work that they do every day, putting their lives on the line to protect us,” Turco told Revere TV. “I'm proud to be in a state where we have some of the most highly trained professional law enforcement and fire officials in the country. And I think, unfortunately, they've been tarred by events in other parts of the country. But I think people in this district have so much respect for the men in blue and the men in red and the women in blue and the women in red.”
Turco will move forward to the general special election on March 30, where he will face both a Republican and Independent candidate.